Veterinarian trains puppies with the help of teens

This veterinarian gathers teens to train puppies at the shelter.
Jul 01, 2008

Mock exam: Technician Suzon Mollory, who works at Dr. Linda Kuhn's clinic, shows puppies a doctor's touch. Photo courtesy of Dr. Linda Kuhn
Dr. Linda Kuhn, owner of East Carolina Veterinary Service in Greenville, N.C., socializes and trains dogs at an animal shelter. Dog trainer Linda Monico helps her and so do a number of junior high and high school students. They're an "angry lot," she says, full of raging hormones and sometimes cranky about helping. (This is the teenagers we're talking about, not the dogs.)

But once Dr. Kuhn picks up the students and ferries them to the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, they're transformed into happy kids. They teach the dogs to sit, lie down, and walk on a leash, and they take turns wearing raincoats and using umbrellas to help puppies get used to objects they don't see at the shelter. The dogs that receive training are easier to adopt out and more likely to stay permanently with their adopted families.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Linda Kuhn
Dr. Kuhn publicizes her program on TV, and has been interviewed for newspapers and radio stations. And she's even found new clients this way. "They see me on TV and adopt a dog because they heard about the program," she says.